At Columbia University we are embarking on a two year program to re-skill our librarians to be the consulting arm of our re-envisioned Digital Humanities Center. We are not finding much on our environmental scan other than @trevormuñoz' DH Incubator, some of the work that @karikraus is doing, and the work at Indiana by Angela Courtney (@englishlitlib) and Harriett Green (@greenharr) at Illinois. Do you know more? Let's get this band on the road.
What libraries are doing a librarian re-skilling program?(9 posts) (5 voices)
We've been making some efforts in this direction at University of Alabama. I'd be happy to talk details and compare notes.
DH and its data issues get some space in my research-data management continuing-education course; up to you whether that's enough to count.
I'm not at all averse to doing DH-for-librarians as continuing ed, but my sense is that more focused shorter-term courses will make more sense and get more uptake than a single everything-and-the-kitchen-sink thing. What might help is a laundry list of "these skills are useful for DH! go and get them!" Given that, I can go to our planners and advocate for putting together courses.
Let me add that our two year project is DH project based (ala Praxis) . The first year we will build an Omeka-Neatline history of Columbia's neighborhood, Morningside Heights, focusing on landmarks and the document types they drag with them from the 19th century. The second year is in the works. The survey type stuff happens in a 15 minute section at the end of each session that we aptly call "The Unrelated Note." I will have a more detailed description of project and product scope when we go fully public in the Spring.
frabbott get in touch with me when you can. colibri (dot) alex (gmail)
Following on Dorothea's continuing education courses model, are these courses at all structured to accommodate the working realities of library professional staff? Our library school offers courses, semester-long and workshops, but what we are advocating for here at IU is a more holistic approach to cross-training that is project-centered. I find that our "workshop" format seems to generate more gaps partly because we don't have immediate engagement in this skill areas we are trying to cultivate. However, for those of us who do have library schools, I wonder how we can incorporate a "certification" model within this structure. Can anyone else talk about how their library schools support traditional grad-curricula and continuing ed?
Well, hm. Hoping I'm not threadjacking here!
At Madison, continuing ed (CE) is a separate dealio from the graduate programs, though there's some overlap in teaching staff (such as me, obviously). This gives CE a LOT more flexibility than the grad program has in terms of curriculum offerings and whether/how they can be tailored... with the caveat that CE is self-supporting, so most of what gets done has to break even (and preferably do a bit better than that so we can cover our overhead).
Our CE is all-online and all-or-almost-all asynchronous. Time commitment ranges from one-hour webinars on up to my mammoth (in CE terms) twelve-weeker linked above. (Which, honestly? I'm thinking of splitting it into two six-weekers. It's HARD to find CE learners who can make a serious twelve-week commitment. This is one of the central challenges of CE as opposed to regular graduate learning.)
Current certification... well, there's the public-library certification thing that's Wisconsin-specific and irrelevant to this discussion, so bypassing that... what CE has been doing is offering generic CEUs on a pass/fail basis. In the past, the graduate program (not CE) has done postgraduate certificate programs -- basically a repackaging of existing coursework -- but we're moving away from them, because we find them to be rigid and hugely expensive and time-constrained, and none of that matches how real-world professionals typically need to learn. So I'm definitely curious about "what kind of certification makes sense in real-world contexts?"
Project-centered learning strikes me as a tough thing to pull off well in CE, because projects are such one-off things that they create a tough course-design burden, and the time/effort commitment necessary to make a meaningful dent in a project is often incompatible with the time available to CE learners. (I do a whacking lot of project-based learning in my regular graduate courses, but I have a lot better claim on graduate students' time than I can muster over CE folks.) As always, open to suggestions on how to do it right. :)
You'll find VERY different CE models at other L-schools and iSchools; ours "just growed" in response to state-internal needs, but we are actively looking at how to expand beyond that. Syracuse is going the post-grad certificate route. Andrew Dillon at Texas-Austin announced that their CE program is going after offering info training to non-librarians (which I think is super-cool). MOOCs may be a possibility.
Happy to continue discussing this here or out-of-band; grab me at dorothea.salo on the GMail or @LibSkrat on Twitter. The tl;dr version is "what do people need? we can be flexible as long as we can also cover our costs."
Here at UNC-Chapel HIll, we're just starting to think about this. A redefinition of "subject liaison" roles happened a few years ago, and we're now defining core competencies that group should have with regards to scholarly communication, and starting to implement training in those areas. I'd love to expand that to DH, especially in a project-based way.
Regarding certification, Michelle and I were talking about this a while ago, and I was wondering if certification through a professional organization (ACH?) might be a good venue, rather than through a library school.
Hi guys, sorry I bailed on you for a while. I was down in Cuba for a week with the INKE folks (an experience that is worthy of a forthcoming post). I left at the moment when michelle introduced the idea of certificates and dorothea picked it up through the lens of continuing ed. I have to say, I'm intrigued by the credentials question, and I will have some conversations around here about its usefulness or lack-thereof.
The project-based approach we're following works in our case only because we can command almost as much time as dorothea can from her grads. We are meeting now regularly every 2 weeks and communicating through our department listserv constantly. The team just worked on client-server relationships and installed their first instance of Wordpress on an outside host. That WP install will eventually be the home of our project-site (as opposed to our product-site which will be in Omeka). I have only been with the group 3 times so far, and we're moving in leaps and bounds. Today we were all merry-making at the fact that telnets (the old SSH's), FTP's, chmod, mdir, and a bunch of other stuff we covered today was part of the librarian's world in the early 90's.
I think that if the common product avoids creep, has modest ambitions and clear workflows for development can be done even when you don't have a large time-commitment. I don't know Dorothea's particular situation with her CE students, but I imagine that a mini-project can be designed around their busy schedules. That almost makes me want to design the 5 session mini-project.
Jenn, I would love to learn more about your UNC project. Can you tell us more?
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